OfficeMax boosts ongoing effort to show teachers its appreciation

In 2007, OfficeMax partnered with Adopt-A-Classroom, a Miami-based nonprofit, to create "A Day Made Better," an annual event created to support teachers who use their own money to pay for classroom supplies.

Client OfficeMax (Naperville, IL)

PR agency Elm PR (Charleston, SC); Grand Central Marketing (New York)

Campaign A Day Made Better

Duration July to November 2010

Budget $500,000

In 2007, OfficeMax partnered with Adopt-A-Classroom, a Miami-based nonprofit, to create "A Day Made Better," an annual event created to support teachers who use their own money to pay for classroom supplies.

"We sought to raise awareness of 'teacher-funded classrooms,'" says Bill Bonner, senior director of external relations at OfficeMax.

Each year, the program awards 1,000 teachers at Title I schools with $1,000 in classroom supplies. OfficeMax began working with Elm PR on the effort in 2008.

Strategy

New spokespeople were enlisted to support the initiative in 2010, says Elm PR principal Beth Elm. Promotion also began earlier in the year, while new events were introduced, such as two fundraisers headlined by country music group Lady Antebellum.

Tactics

The new spokespeople included additional celebrities, as well as athletes, authors, and politicians. In addition, the PR team created the "A Day Made Better" blog and worked with the digital team to promote the creation of a new tab on the campaign's Facebook page that allows users to share program information.

Results

The effort garnered coverage on Rachael Ray, E! News, and in Teacher Magazine. The campaign's website received 11,500 page views, while traffic to the new blog reached 5,000 visits during October 2010.

Adopt-A-Classroom generated $1.75 million in donations in 2010. Prior to its partnership with OfficeMax in 2007, the nonprofit averaged $725,000 in annual donations.

Future

The team plans to roll out early promotions for the 2011 effort. In addition, Bonner says OfficeMax is considering launching the program in Mexico.

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